Magic underrated Southern Steel's toughness

Last updated 05:00 04/04/2012
Laura Langman and Phillipa Finch
HARD STEEL: Magic centre Laura Langman (left) recoils after colliding with the Steel's Phillipa Finch in their opening trans-Tasman netball match in Invercargill.

Relevant offers


Ameliaranne Wells is only change to Silver Ferns squad to play Australia Anna Harrison set to keep the Silver Ferns very honest at national trials Wellington thrash North Harbour in national netball champs final Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua remains cagey about her netball future Silver Ferns trials bring shot at redemption for unwanted shooter Cathrine Latu Ameliaranne Wells now truly at home in the Silver Ferns squad Hamilton City seventh at national netball championships Canterbury coach laments end of national netball tournament format after third place finish Wellington get up late to beat Christchurch and qualify for netball final Hamilton City knocked out by Christchurch at national netball championships

Magic coach Noeline Taurua admits her team underestimated the physical abilities of Donna Wilkins in their first- round loss to the Southern Steel in Invercargill on Monday night.

The Waikato-Bay of Plenty side opened their ANZ Championship campaign with a 49-47 defeat, having gone into the match as a far classier side on paper and letting slip a six-goal three-quarter time lead.

The Magic, who possess two of the competition's best defenders in Casey Williams and Leana de Bruin, were outplayed by the wily Steel shooting combination of Jodi Brown and Wilkins, who capitalised on the visitors' high error rate.

"I think, if I'm to be honest, maybe with Donna she exceeded the expectations," Taurua said.

"She only had a baby [her third] in January, so for her to be physically able, I think she's done a fantastic job.

"We always knew mentally she was going to be there, but I think, physically, we didn't put enough presence on her to make her work hard."

Taurua wasn't worried about her defenders, who both had a height advantage over their opponents, as she said time will tell how they go against other players.

"I think if we acknowledge that our ones weren't that good and not give credit to the opposition, then we'd be doing them a bit of a disservice," Taurua said.

It wasn't only the Magic's defence that let them down though – their flow through court was poor and they made far too many mistakes.

"We had a lot of ball in the forward line and we had a lot of ball coming out of the defence end, but we weren't able to convert it because of errors," Taurua said. "It's about relishing that when we do get turnover ball so that we actually score."

In the debrief straight after the game, there were moments of silence and a realisation that plenty has to be rectified to be a force in the competition.

"We've got to take this loss on the chin and just get on with it," Taurua said, adding they "learnt a lot" from it.

"We have another game next week and we have to get better."

Taurua revealed that debutante Jess Waitapu began the match at goal attack because Julianna Naoupu wasn't 100 per cent right, having been on antibiotics to cure a haematoma on her mouth.

And Taurua added that Waitapu's benching at quarter time was injury related.

She suffered a possible tear to the calf, with more to be known at training today.

Ad Feedback

- Waikato Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who should play goal shoot for the Silver Ferns?

Bailey Mes

Catherine Latu

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content